In 1929, tears swept the nation and gloom bestowed itself upon a once happy place. The Great Depression had started. People lost everything ,so many became migrant workers. Of Mice and Men, a classic novel written by John Steinbeck, emphasizes many sad themes, but gives us a good insight on what life was like in the 1940’s for many people. Although there are other themes, rootlessness, loneliness, and poverty are extremely prominent throughout the novel in many characters. Rootlessness is a major theme that motivates several characters to find a home; they seem to be constantly wandering without a real place to call their own.One character, who is prime example of this, is Curley’s wife. Although she has a home, the bunkhouse, she is unhappy with her marriage ,and thus she wanders around with no real purpose making her no better off than the other truly vagabond characters. Crooks is another rootless character with similar problems,although unlike Curley’s wife, he doesn’t have the bunkhouse to call home. Everywhere he goes, he’s pushed away and neglected. Crooks truly has no home and no way to escape that. George and Lennie , a traveling duo of migrant workers, are constantly wandering, but unlike the others they have each other.
Throughout the story, George and Lennie are trying to just grasp onto some money so they can by a plot of land and truly have a place to call home. Through out the book there is a unmeasurable desire to own a farm. As you can see rootlessness is a fundamental aspect in the story. Loneliness is another major theme in Of Mice And Men ,but unlike rootlessness it is inescapable for many. Take Candy, an old ranch hand who thinks he’s going to be cut from his job, and whose only friend is his dog which later gets killed.
As you might presume, throughout the story Candy is consistently lonely and eventually tries to hitch a ride on George and Lennie’s dream to own a farm. As George says on pg 13, “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. ” This demonstrates how ranch hands like Candy, especially ranch hands without a friend are lonely. Another character who is lonely is Curley’s wife. She married Curley only because she never got her letter from the Hollywood producer, not because she loved Curley. As a result, she has no relationship and no friends ,so she wanders the bunkhouse every day looking for somebody to talk to.
She wants to escape loneliness by talking to people, but everybody pushes her away, even Curley, her husband. As she says on pg 89, “I don’ like Curly. I could been in the movies, an’ have nice clothes. ” This shows that Curley was just her last resort option in her idyllic path to movie stardom. The last character affected by loneliness is Crooks. He is black and thus he is pushed away by everybody and even has to live in an isolated room in the bunkhouse. Because of this he pretends to push away people too even though he longs for their presence because he doesn't know how to act any differently.
In the book, Steinbeck shows that it is almost impossible for Crook’s to escape loneliness unless he escapes out of poverty first. Poverty is a prevailing aspect in the novel because it shows the hardships of the characters and attracts the readers. It also gives more harsh detail into what life was like for migrant farm workers. George and Lennie, the two main characters in the novel, are very impoverished and struggle wi getting o bas necessities s such as food, water, and clothing. Instead of dreaming to be ri, heGeor e and Lennie just want work for themselves and o have their own home.
George and Lennie are also at the bunkhouse because they a so poor that they don’t have anywhere better to go. . Another character who is greatly affected by poverty is Candy. Candy used to be a young guy with a better possible futu but since Candy got older and had his hand cut off he's afraid that he might not be abey to support himself. This is because he's been slowly degraded to jb's such as swamping ,cleaning, and fears that soon he'll be cut from the job. The last character affected by poverty is Crooks ,the character that is truly the worst off in all of these themes in the novel.
The sad reason why is primarily because he is black and thus people neglect him ,and gets a lot less job opportunities than if he was white. Poverty affects Crooks by pushing him into a corner even more. Poverty is just more of a problem to Crooks but I think that John Steinbeck is saying that if Crooks was not living ip Poverty, that he might be more respected or have a chance at a better life. In the later part of the sto,ry Crooks tries to escapp Poverty by hitching a ride on George and Lennie's dream.